Sunday Mornings at the Distillery District

Posted on May 18, 2014


Today I set out early to do an errand at the Distillery District. Any excuse I find to visit Pikto, I will take. Pikto has always been my go-to printing place when I want to be assured of quality. A little pricier than most, but it is worth keeping my sanity as I don’t stress about the product I am getting. It also where I find inspiration from the photography that I see on its gallery walls. It gives me imagination seeing large prints on display, imagining my own work with the same prominence. The only caveat to this errand trip was that they open at noon. I figured I can loiter around the Distillery rather than get too comfy at home that I end up not going.

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This trip to Pikto gave me an excuse to have a leisurely brunch by Figs. It was bordering on being shameless and indulgent as I heard that beautiful crisp bacon crunch early this morning. I got myself waffles, with poached eggs, sausage, bacon and berries. I know, I know, too indulgent that even I could not finish the dish. Truly pacified and awake, sipping coffee, I turned to the newspaper that was in my table. I have forgotten the pleasures of slowly reading the Sunday paper as I read most of my news on my iPhone. There is still something satisfying leafing through a newspaper, smelling fresh ink and scouring for news. Life’s little pleasures always catches me by surprise. Being really early, I combed it all through before I headed to The Distillery District.

The beauty of coming to the Distillery very early in the morning is that you have a lot of options for parking without paying. Parking starts at 1pm every Sunday. Yay! The Distillery is a popular tourist destination as it is Toronto’s cobble-walk-laden historic district with a good array of art galleries and unique retail finds. What was a surprise to me that this long weekend was the start of the Artfest at the Distillery where local artisans set up by the side streets with a lot of good finds. As I was earlier than the opening of 11am, I saw the calm bustle of vendors setting up their wares. Some of them were already done and it was good that I can hover through unique items at my leisure.

There was still a little bit of bite to the morning air and I opted to warm myself up at Balzac’s. This place is definitely one of my favourite coffee shops in Toronto. Their coffee is pretty consistent no matter which Balzac I get it from. It also helps that I loved the ambience of the place. Today I have brought my Macbook with me for Pikto work and so I idled awhile in their comfortable second floor seating. It was also a good find that there is free WiFi in the Distillery. I could really learn to kill time at the Distillery more often.

Finishing a blog post, I vacated my table to give way for other people coming into Balzac’s. I was amazed at the long queue that was in front of the cashier when there was none when I came in about 45 minutes earlier. I gave the Artfest another look, browsing through those booths that were closed earlier. It was a merry mix of paintings, images, pottery, woodcraft, handcrafted jewellery and fashionable spring items. Spring is indeed in the air as I checked out garden paraphernalia.

Checking my time, I finally got to get my errand done at Pikto. I had to put money for parking for an extra hour as I was nitpicking on my prints. When I was done I had 45 minutes left and I chose to spend it with a snack by Brick Street Bakery. I can always find a quick cheap snack here and it is always fresh from the oven. As there were so many patrons before me, I happily waited as I saw that the Cornish Pasty just came out of the oven and was still literally on the baking pan. It cannot get any fresher than that. It was satisfying and savoury, that warmth filling me through as I took up space on a bench outside the bakery. Exactly just what was needed at the moment.

Today was a really good day. Maybe I should come back here tomorrow… ;)

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Balzac's Coffee Roastery on Urbanspoon
Brick Street Bakery on Urbanspoon